A group of Bangladeshi manpower recruiters urged the Malaysian authority to allow all the country's registered recruiting agencies to send workers to the country.
In a press conference at Dhaka Reporters' Unity on Monday, they also sought clarity on the eligibility criteria of determining 25 agencies and 250 sub-agencies in recruiting manpower for Malaysia.
They also want inclusion in the proposal to open the opportunity for all agencies in the topics of the upcoming meeting of the Bangladesh-Malaysia Working Committee and its implementation.
On 14 January, Malaysian Human Resource Minister M Saravanan wrote to Bangladesh Expatriate Welfare Minister Imran Ahmed, urging to initiate the process of sending workers to Malaysia through 25 Bangladeshi Recruitment Agencies (BRA) and 250 sub-agencies.
Responding to the letter, Minister Imran Ahmed on 18 January reiterated the ministry's position against any sort of syndication in manpower export to Malaysia. At the press conference, Bangladeshi recruiters lauded the minister's letter.
The recruiters called the proposal of the Malaysian Human Resource minister "upsetting", as it will promote a recruiter syndicate of only 25 BRA and 250 sub-agencies from Bangladesh whereas all Malaysian recruiting agencies will be involved in the process.
"The proposal is utterly unethical, contrary to the principle of equality and extremely insulting to independent and sovereign Bangladesh," read a written statement.
"All the legitimate recruiting agencies in the country are licensed with the same amount of security deposits, therefore, one recruiting agency cannot be a sub-agent of another equivalent recruiting agency under any circumstances," they added.
Tipu Sultan, a recruiter, said "Other manpower exporter countries, including Nepal, will send their workers to Malaysia sans any syndication of recruiters. But why are all registered recruiting agencies of Bangladesh not allowed to be involved in the manpower export process to Malaysia?"
On 19 December last, Bangladesh and Malaysia signed a new five-year labour recruitment agreement that lifted a freeze imposed since 1 September 2018.
Demand for reduction of airfares on Middle Eastern routes
Meanwhile, the recruiters also demanded a reduction of airfares of Biman Bangladesh Airlines on Middle Eastern routes.
"Bangladesh Biman flights take fares of Tk55,000/60,000 for going to London for a 20/22 hours' travel. And the national flag carrier takes fares of Tk75,000/95,000 to Middle Eastern Countries for four to five hours' travel and yet tickets are not available. Taking its advantage, foreign airliners hiked the airfares two to three-fold," read the written statement.